There are three campsites on John Lake with one of the nicest campsites in the entire eastern section of the Boundary Waters in my opinion. It offers excellent Walleye fishing almost year round and easy access, which makes it a popular lake. There is only one entry permit available for this lake per day, but people basecamp quite often on this lake so be ready to portage when you find it full in the summer.
This campsite is actually farther west than it appears on the map and is the definition of an average BWCA campsite. Considering how nice the other two campsites are on John Lake this should be your last choice, though not terrible if you end up here.
Tent Pads: 2 | Landing: C | Fire Grate Area: C | Overall: C
Just around the corner from the rapids that flow in the lake from Little John this is a great campsite to fish from considering the moving water. This fire grate area is a little closed off for my taste, but considering it is right next to the way into the lake the privacy might be nice in the summer. The rock slab at the tip of the point is a great place to set up a slip bobber operation.
Tent Pads: 2 | Landing: B- | Fire Grate Area: B- | Overall: B-
Sitting just above the mouth of the Royal River is the finest campsite on the lake and one of the best in the entire region, in fact it would probably make a top 10 list if I ever made one; it really has everything besides a sandy beach. Massive sentinel pines tower over this wide open site and the fire grate area really lets you decide how to enjoy it depending on what you’re working with. The pool directly adjacent above the river is an excellent spot to jig for Walleyes, just don’t forget the leeches.
Tent Pads: 3+ | Landing: B | Fire Grate Area: A | Overall: A